The Sunshine Kimono


Soon there will be many things not seen today, but appear as though they are.

There once was a golden two-tailed kitsune with cranberry eyes, which came across a Pylur temple and its young farmer-monk.  She watched him from atop a nearby cliff, behind a fallen tree, her two tails rustling the fallen leaves behind her.  The cranberry-eyed kitsune waited until a few evenings had passed, and it was raining, before approaching the ancient Pylur temple.  She approached as a beautiful young woman, her hair of an unusual blonde with cranberry eyes.  Her kimono was dove white and darkened to ebony at the bottom, with gold thread for trim.  She knocked on the temple’s undecorated wooden doors, and the monk answered.  The Pylur monk indeed was attractive with an even open face and his hair chignon.  His robes were green in honor of Tǖf.

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6989 – The Sunshine Kimono


Critical Exhumation

Boogeymen aren’t scary when the lights are on.  With a strong spotlight the boils and slimy hid are revealed to be acne; ravenous searching eyes are just one lazy eye and poor over-compensation; or the looming form is just scoliosis and a beer-gut.  The artists – painters, writers, actors – in a society create the biggest spotlights, and so get the largest credit, for illuminating the shadows.  Artists use nuance and details to bring and audience to authenticity.

Outside artists exist the majority, living life from one grocery trip to the next.  In every day events exist moments that illuminate truth and reveal just as, if not more, than the same moments artists strive to create.  The interactions in the parking lot and at the check-out line are revealing scents of comedy, drama, or pathos.  These one-act plays of life reveal patterns about station, place, and character.  To see a pattern, acknowledges it, and creates the opportunity towards a new habit that opposes.

Exhuming the everyday through personal experiences, which create unique critical lenses, allows for the façade of everyday boogeymen to be exposed.  Through exposure can the majority’s ordinary life live as an artistic statement.

The Narcissist Boy

the-light-eater-by-koren-shadmiIn relationships I was a chaos creator.  The behavior was me saying, I will not let you act as if I was something you accidentally stepped into.  Then came Jonathan Griffiths, and I was the most authentic I could’ve been – and it was not good enough.  Of my contributions nothing was good enough, because I just infuriated Jonathan; this included the shows I watched and music I enjoyed, which were met with insult and derision.  I asked how to be a better boyfriend and he’d assigned me with making the world a gentler place for him, comforting him with nothing less than 100% support and grilled cheese, and if it didn’t happen then I was the enemy with no value to me.  I would implement and improve, so Jonathan could break-up with me to see if I would continue.  His experiments happened twice before I wised up.  By the third I got off the carousel.

In late November 2015 Jonathan Griffiths, an unemployed community theatre actor, asked to go for coffee at a local café; he ordered wine and I purchased a coffee.  Before our drinks were served Jonathan said he was an unemployed community actor, who preferred his stage name: James Lockhart.  The conversation was easy with cards placed quickly on the table.  I don’t understand the current culture we are in, James said.  I belong to another era, the 1920s or the 1940s.  James said he had OCD, bipolar with severe anxiety, and haphephobic.  It was because of being haphephobic, James said, if we progressed to a relationship that sex would not factor heavily.

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Narcissist Boy [blog]


My Gay Identity

To me, being gay has never been about a movement, or dance divas, or impeccable style/taste.  Being gay was about longing to be what I was not – perfect.  Perfect was the jocks or musicians in high school because they got all the attention; and paid attention back to all the girls, and not to me.  Perfect as not the quietly humorous one who liked school and read in the back of class.  How could they not see how cool I was?

In high school I didn’t go to parties because I wasn’t invited.  If kids were doing drugs and drinking it wasn’t with me because no one asked.  I didn’t go to local gay youth groups to meet peers because I wasn’t ready.  The internet was about to be a thing so that was how I explored.  I wasn’t cool enough to have sex, so I chatted.

In college I did not meet perfect, who were the artistic and eccentric.  At my undergrad perfect was chased by girls and boys, and were more likely to chase the boys back.  Perfect was still not the quietly humorous one who liked school and read in the back of class.  He was finally cool, though.

Do You Derive Joy When Others Succeed, or Only When They Fail?

For a brief moment Milo Yiannopoulos received attention for bullying, deflecting criticism hiding behind the U.S.’s First Amendment or (supposed) humor, but under the spotlight that 2017’s political climate brought he eventually got what every bully deserves: getting kicked off the playground.  The blogosphere and news-outlets that gave particular attention to Milo’s special brand of rabble-rousing reported Milo’s quick and deserved decline, but then the opinion pieces came out that celebrated his fall.  These celebrations have amounted more to their own version of bullying – throwing rocks at the bully as he’s forced off the playground – and it is time to stop.

The grave-dancing on Milo, should there be truth to his story of being sexually abused by a priest, demonstrates that others’ calls for help, either lashing-out, drugs, or self-harm, will be glossed-over in favor of the preferred narrative.  Milo himself has gone back and forth if he was 14 or 17 at the time of abuse, and even took the blame for his own abuse.  It is clear from Milo’s interview on ‘Real Time with Bill Maher’ that he is just lashing-out because of his angry-pain, and is still dealing with ramifications rooted in the abuse he suffered.


Why Verve?

            I am Carl Termini and am keeping, Verve – Living in Complex Times, to collect public journals, essays, reviews, and articles, which capture the energy and spirit that comes from chronicling involvement in the Discourse.  I do not consider myself a humorist like Kurt Vonnegut, Penn & Teller, or even Dave Barry.  I am not a comedian like Aziz Ansari or Amy Poehler.  (I’m funny in person, I swear!)  What I do have is a Masters in Literacy that has given me strong lenses to view the world and its events. 

Bent Mirror – Genre Fiction for Social Justice

As eleventh and twelfth graders discover their identity, they become tied to gender/culture/ethnic communities. Students explore these identities to form connections to understand writing and ideas about their increasingly diverse world, challenging educators to creatively keep students from cynicism in citizenship.  Speculative fiction exposes students to radically different cultures, not Americanized variations, where presupposed rules can’t be applied, and are unable to change the culture. This demonstrates blanket-solutions can’t be applied to all situations/cultures and expected to work.  Rather solutions must be unique to that problem and culture.  Speculative fiction authors create original settings that are contrary to the presupposed world, requiring imagination in examining the setting’s effect on characters and interactions.  This position paper reviews the literature on meaningful adolescent literature experiences with an emphasis on speculative fiction, provides an overview of science fiction, fantasy and horror genres, and critically review two of their narratives to teach social justice.

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The Bent Mirror – Speculative Fiction for Social Justice